Monthly Archives: April 2009

Skywatch Friday, Anniversary Clouds

Howdee all.

Yesterday was Our 19th anniversary….Jeff was still sick in bed all day with his tick bite sickness…he is on antibiotics and should be getting better soon.

I walked around the garden most of the day taking photos and learning about the two cameras we purchased recently.

In the evening I went out too photograph with the big Canon. The clouds were filled with light.

I looked up and saw our Anniversary cloud!

Do you see it?

Look for a man and womans face..man on left with glowing eye,cloud filling bottom right is his arm..woman on right him..side view..

they are about to kiss…

sky anniversary My mother couldn’t see it…

Jeff saw it immediately and so did my sister Adele.

I love to find things in the clouds…and Yesterday I found a few.

Below is sleeping woman with glowing breasts..tee hee..

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This one below is woman with glowing hair blowing a kiss ..is that a little pup behind her head?

clouds redone A large hole…IMG_0375 and above the hole .in the photo below..…two angelic beings looking towards in other in open embrace…

their faces are aglow…IMG_0378 I wanted to climb to the castle that is lit up on the hill in the photo

below..

IMG_0382 But instead I looked at all the patternsIMG_0388 in the sky

IMG_0389 Now I suggest you get your head out of these clouds and go look at other

Wonderful skywatch posts.

Just click the link below

skywatch

New Camera Angst

Howdee all,

This gal is frustrated! 

As most of you know my little camera went swimming and it seemed to recover..except for the zoom mechanism which works when it feels like it, which is not very often lately.

I really liked my little Casio Xlim it was small…fit on my hip in a little holster…I wore it almost every minute….It took decent photos. Digiscoped fairly well with the home made adapter Jeff put together….and it was easy to make videos using windows movie maker because the video files were avi instead of the mov files that most newer cameras have.

Well the little thing didn’t want to work so I ordered two cameras. Jeff also needed a new one. I was looking for one with some good zoom..without going to a big SLR.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

20x optical zoom

Canon sx10 is and the

Canon Powershot sx200

12x Optical zoom

canon_sx200_titleBoth had Excellent ratings @ Steve’s Digicam site

I wanted to like the big Canon with the 20x zoom ..it takes beautiful videos with smooth zooming …Beautiful photos with Macro settings…and I could capture birdies on the feeder from many feet away without digiscoping.

But I found it big…bulky and I kept picking up the smaller Canon to keep with me during the day. 

The little Canons videos are ok. Similar to my casio……with maybe a bit more noise from the camera itself. I can deal with that I suppose. The zoom doesn’t work fully when taking a video…and the files are Mov..larger files… If Want to use windows movie maker the files first need to be converted…Pain!

It takes much more time than the simple drag and drop I did before.

I have not yet found a program that will convert and make videos easily yet.

I just want to be able to put them on utube to share. Which I haven’t figured out how to do yet.

My sister Tammy found a software program she likes..I may try that.

Any other ideas for making a easy movie with some effects and transitions that I can upload to Utube…I don’t care what format..just ease of use.

The little Canon takes some nice Macro shots.

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    IMG_0170 I am pleased with most of the still shots.

IMG_0173 IMG_0174 I have mostly been trying out the macro and super macro modes.

Not bad for a small camera.

IMG_0195 IMG_0196 IMG_0197 Color seems to be good…though I have found that purples are more blue than purple. My little casio was the same. I don’t know the reason for that.

IMG_0210  IMG_0222 IMG_0226 IMG_0229 IMG_0236

IMG_0244 I have also used the zoom from afar to see if I can capture birds…not bad.

I was quite a bit away from the birds in these photos.

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 IMG_0267 IMG_0010IMG_0269 I think I will most likely be returning the Big Casio and keeping the smaller one. I don’t know if the smaller camera will be good for digiscoping..but from what I have  read I think i need a smaller zoom.

So back to the drawing board on a second camera.

Any help or ideas ???????

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So that’s what’s going on

Between cameras and Jeff’s tick bite sickness…

I haven’t read blogs or blogged…

I now have to go off on assignment..

My sister wants me to photograph her garden beds ..so she has a record of her

April Flowers.

Pee Dee NWR……. Skywatch Friday

 Howdee all,

This sky watch post comes from Pee Dee National Wildlife Refugee near Wadesboro, NC. 

Jeff and I went on a Birdie outing.  If you want to read about the Bird we saw you can read the previous post.

This sad cloud greeted us as we started the boardwalk.  I don’t know why it was so sad.

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Poor little thing…

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I Tried cheering it up…and eventually it just dissolved into the sky..

The wind picked up and brought in these beautiful white puffs.

 CIMG3527CIMG3518 CIMG3524 It was another lovely day..the birding was pretty good too!

CIMG3525 CIMG3526

If you want to see some other beautiful skies from around the world click on the picture below.

skywatch

Pee Dee NWR, NC.. The Berry Birds are here!

Howdee all,

Yesterday Jeff and I went to Pee Dee NWR. It was a beautiful sunny day but quite windy.

I call this the day of berry birds because the blues and red birdies we saw. Summer Tanagers were singing all over the place, Blue Grosbeaks and Eastern Bluebirds greeted us in the grassy areas, over the water many Indigo buntings called and flew in front of us along the path, We also heard the American Redstart and lots of Cardinals.

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I digiscoped this Bluebird..one of many flying around the fields and bluebird nest boxes.CIMG3477

Killdeer with Babies…they are so tiny.

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These Zebra Swallowtails were all over the place and I chased them around to try to get a decent photo. I thought the colors were so lovely the baby blue and the strike of red toward the tail. Did you know this early spring form of this butterfly is smaller in size and lighter in color ?

CIMG3532

We had a great time despite the wind.

Today is a gardening and cleaning day for me.

Jeff went for an early morning birdie walk.

I Hope whatever you do today….you find some joy in the simple things!

Home made rocks and other chores

Howdee all,

Today Adele and I worked on her patio..Carthage is in the Sand hills of NC. therefore there are very few rocks to be found. Rather than buy rocks for a patio…Adele likes to make them.

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Here Adele starts the process by adding two bags of cement that has gravel in it…with some peat moss.

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About Half of that black container of Peat is all that is mixed with the cement.CIMG3383

The consistency is flexible, not too liquid..but thick enough to lift up and put in a form. CIMG3392 Here we are using the bottom part of a milk carton to hold the cement.

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Then just plot the cement down…play around with the shape and you have a rock. CIMG3395CIMG3394 CIMG3396 CIMG3397There are many things that you can make with the mixture. 

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 Just subject to your imaginationCIMG3400And Creativity…

Its allot of fun…and when we are done with the Patio we have several walkways we want to do and a few gardens to border.

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After working on the Patio we spread around the Horse Manure that Craigy picked up..in his super cool Blue Truck.

CIMG3403  This is the third truckload…We need at least two more.

Doesn’t our Homey look happy near the garden?CIMG3406 Look what showed up today…Female Blue Grosbeak..where did male go? He left a week ago.

Indigo bunting was here for two days and we haven’t seen him again either. Usually there are at least six of them here at a time…

Rose-breasted Grosbeak was here this morning..but we worked in the Garden near the feeders and I haven’t seen him back this afternoon.

All the birdies are arriving at least a week ahead of schedule.  What’s that all about?

CIMG3414

If you decide to make some rocks..I would love to see your creations..

Hope you all had a wonderful, creative day!

 

Chickadees nest in the Moon, Weymouth Woods walk.

Howdee all,

The Chickadees are nesting in the Moon again! In the first part of the video…notice one of them arriving …then singing…and the other leaves the moon.

We always go to Weymouth woods when we are here in NC. To see the Red-cockaded woodpecker and whatever birdies might be around.weymouthwoods

These photos were digiscoped in November…when we just bought our scope.weymouthwoods (1)

We didn’t bring the scope yesterday when we went out with the Ranger on a bird walk.

The highlights of the day were a Worm-eating Warbler..a life bird for us.

and the first Summer Tanager of the year here.

weymouth woods (7)

The ferns are just starting to unfold…

Look at how fuzzy these ferns are. I don’t know what kind these are…

But I thought they were very cool.

Today we go on a wildflower walk with the ranger..So we will be able to put names with the wild flowers and ferns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one below is so delicate and artful.

weymouth woods (22) weymouth woods (8)

I have a thing for bark. My mother says she does too. I guess its genetic..tee hee

I don’t know what this tree is but will find out today on our ranger walk. The pieces of bark jut out like buttons that need to be pressed back in.

 

 

 

 

 

Weymouth woods is a Long Leaf Pine woods, with some wetlands…

 

 

That’s where I saw the Whirligig Beetles doing their thing.

weymouth woods (13)

Did you know that their eyes are divided so that they can see above and below the water at the same time? Did you know that they can fly?

I was fascinated by the patterns they were making in the reflections.

I found the last morels from across the street. We need more rain to flush some new ones out. Tonight we will get some.

Yippee

You must read this Morel story from a great blog i found recently

Down to Earth

Jay found some nice Morels with his Dad and as far as I know still hasn’t picked them. I threatened to get them myself!

Morels (1)

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Birds, flowers and mushrooms in our Yard

Howdee all,

Sometimes the things you are looking for are in you are right in your own backyard.

Most springs you will find us parked for the month of April at my sister Adele’s and her husband Craig’s home.

CIMG3207 We set up our feeders and wait for the birds to come.

I set up the scope inside and took a few photos.

Now that it is warm I will set the scope up outside and do some digiscoping.

CIMG3115The American Goldfinch shows up soon after we put up the feeders. CIMG3068

We are always excited to see the migrants come back.

Here’s our Blue Grosbeak that arrived a few days ago.

CIMG3145

We are expecting to see the Indigo buntings any day now. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak usually shows up after the Buntings.

The Brown thrashers are singing. The Carolina wrens are singing a bit too much for me….non stop over and over…sometimes..I just want to turn off its switch.

The feeder is always full with birds.

I love our little squeaky toy Brown-headed nuthatches…

The Chickadees are now nesting in the moon. I will take a video to show you their new home.

We also find wonderful birds in the yard that don’t go to the feeders. Eastern Bluebirds, Vireos, Cedar waxwings, Blue-gray gnatcatchers’, Kestrels’, and others.

Birdie life is good here.

Yesterday, I looked across the street and saw some Tulip Poplars….they keep whispering to me….so before dinner, I walked over to to see what they had to say..…

and

Look what I found. I walked around for a half hour and found five beauties. Today I will search again.

CIMG3198 Most evenings after dinner…Adele, the pups and I go for a walk around the yard.

Adele, an avid gardener, is always looking to see what is popping up out of the ground…what is blooming…and what plants didn’t survive the winter.

You can click on the photo album to see more.

Its fun walking around our Yard…wherever we are.

Sometimes we drive to a “special place”….when, really, the special place is right here in our own backyard.

Have a great day ….

And

Take time to smell the flowers…and look around in your own backyard for

treasures.

CIMG3249

Sora @ Green Cay Wetlands… BPW

Howdee All,

If you want to see birds up close and personal a great place to go while in Florida is Green Cay Wetlands.

We met a photographer while we were there, Bill Kominsky,  each time we visited Green Cay we saw Bill taking photos.  He has some absolutely amazing photos…You must check them out.

Below are two that I digiscoped while at Green Cay.

greencay (21) greencay (22)

Sora digiscoped at Green Cay wetlands..I am still a beginner.

For more birdie photos click on the picture below.bird photog weekly

My Camera for a Morel?

Howdee All,

I went out yesterday in search of the elusive Morel mushroom.

After dropping my sister off at work I decided I would drive the back roads of Sanford and stop when I was in an area that looked like it would have Morels.

The first place I stopped looked pretty good, a low area, creek, Tulip poplar trees. I pulled the car off to the shoulder and got out to look around.

I scanned the creek and low and behold…across the creek was a beautiful little golden morel glowing in the sunlight. I was so excited….but i had to cross the creek.

There was a fallen dead tree over the creek, a nice wide tree. The creek was only five feet across but about knee deep. I decided to crawl on all fours over the log to reach the beautiful Morel… I was half way across when …Plop….my camera falls out of the case on my hip and into the creek.

I had no other choice but to go in after it and I knew I needed to rescue it fast before the water damaged the camera….So in I went…clothes,shoes and all…up to my knees ..pulled out the camera and since I was already wet..crossed the creek toward the Morel.

My thoughts were now about my camera….I tried to turn it on…no go…dead….dead..

I could do nothing…..it was wet…..I took out the battery and shook the camera……put the battery back in…still nothing…

Oh well…I decided there was nothing I could do for the camera…..and picked the Morel…how bittersweet…I found a few more morels in the same area…and left when I was sure there were no more.

I would have loved to have taken photos of the creek, the log, the lovely morels growing in the woods…but my precious camera was no longer working.

Boo Hoo…

I searched several more areas that day and found about ten morels in all. Not a grand bounty, not big specimens that I have found before…but nice little ones…Proof that their are morels around.

I put my camera in the sun and let it dry out. By the time I went to pick up my sister, my camera was turning on but the screen was cloudy and it wasn’t acting normal..but I had hope that it might pull through.

And so far….it is getting better each minute….

It decided to show off and take a few photos…at the nursery..CIMG3080 CIMG3074 CIMG3076 CIMG3079and last but not least..

the cause of its drowning…

Morel Mushrooms! CIMG3087

My camera continues to work and today it says it will try some bird feeder digiscoping.

Its still a bit under the weather and is in no mood for a Morel mushroom foray.

And, besides,the Blue Grosbeak showed up at the feeder today.

We have our priorities.

Stalking the Wild Morel…..who gives a Hoot?

Howdee all,

Yesterday, I wanted to find some Morel mushrooms.  I read online that some were found a week ago in Sanford at a local park…but the location was not given.  Mushroomers are very secretive about their picking areas…and it would be rare to have detailed information as to where to find them.

So armed with that information, and not knowing the area, other than a park, I decided I would stop by Big Bloomers flower farm, where my sister works, and ask the locals where I might find a park in Sanford.

CIMG3011

I had to look around a bit….I was looking for something to buy my sister Lori, for storing some of our stuff for the past eight years.

So…Lori..what do you like below?

 

Armed With directions to one of the local parks…

CIMG3015Off I went to Stalk the Wild Morel. The habitat looked good.  A creek, Tulip Poplars, but the soil seemed a bit dry.

There were a few Mallards having some fun in the creek.

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I decided to follow the creek into the woods.

Not a mushroom to be found! Not any kind.

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I take that back I did find some…..

  Devils cupsCIMG3018

I walked this park for over two hours.

No shrooms…

i found signs of critters with sharp teeth.

CIMG3020

What were they thinking? Did they just give up here? Was the tree too big?

Or did they get tired or a toothache?

CIMG3021  No Morels,no signs or morels. Boo hoo…

Some nice spring flowers.CIMG3017

Ok so no Morels anywhere and I was very unhappy.

I had tromped through woods, along streams, up hills, down hills, for over two hours. Why cant I just find one lousy Morel..just one?

Then…

I heard something talking to me up high in the tree.

He said….several times..the same thing…

Who gives a Hoot!

Who gives a Hoot about Morels.

Look at me!

CIMG3028

photo taken with camera thru my binoculars.